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Rise Up – Resurrection Revolutionaries

July 16, 2015

So. The idea was to blog at the end of the day. As it turns out, the end of the day for us here in Detroit is really, really late. We’ve been housed in a wonderful hotel out in Auburn Hills, so it takes some time getting home. Not a bad thing – bus time is fellowship time. But still. Late.

So, now it’s early. But I’ve got a cup of coffee by my side and I’m ready for Thursday. But first, where have we been so far?

Our travel day on Tuesday was long but rather uneventful. Yesterday, Wednesday, the Gathering started in earnest as 30,000 Lutheran youth and leaders poured into Detroit. We grabbed breakfast, our youth got their new Bibles, and we headed into town. We started by finding more food and headed into Greektown (I had a Coney Dog; they’re from Detroit! Betcha didn’t know). As the afternoon moved along, we found ourselves making new friends (is everyone from Iowa?) as we played Spoons and Foursquare in the Air. Good ways to ease into the Gathering.

Things really got going in Ford Field, home of the Lions and, for this week, the Lutherans. Lost and Found got us going with some great tunes. The House Band turned it up. But for me, the highpoints of the night were our speakers. It was wonderful, as always, to see and hear Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. The MCs did a great job and will be with us all week. But the two featured speakers got us thinking about what it means to Rise Up Together.

Mikka McCracken works as a program director for ELCA World Hunger. She spoke passionately about the ongoing reality of poverty and hunger in our world – a world in which one billion people still live with food insecurity, an unacceaptable reality for those of us who worship a God of abundance. But she reminded us that hunger and poverty don’t exist because of scarcity; hunger and poverty exist because of inequality. This world produces more than enough food for everyone to be fed; we, however, are trapped in cycles of selfishness and waste. But because we are people of faith, people who worship the One who looked at five loaves and two fish and made it work, we can not only fight poverty and hunger. We can end them. This is the work of Jesus, and in him it’s not just possible; it’s doable.

Our preacher for the evening was Dr. Luke Powery of Duke University. He brought it as he spoke on the One who first rose up, our risen savior. As he spoke of the three scared women at the tomb in Mark’s bizarre non-ending ending, Dr. Powery reminded us that Mark tells his story so that we would know that the gospel is a story that takes seriously the fears and disappointments of this world but we cannot finally remain silent. We worship a Jesus who goes on ahead of us, over and again; a Jesus who will do what he has come to do regardless of whether or not we follow; a Jesus who invites us again and again to leave our fears in the tombs, open our mouths in proclamation, and follow him. We are to be Resurrection Revolutionaries, fearful and silent no more.

Tackling our fears. Ending poverty and hunger. Making this kingdom more like the coming Kingdom. Big stuff. But  man, I’m pretty sure we can do it. 30,000 Resurrection Revotionaries. I’m not going to tell these kids it can’t be done. I’m going  to follow them, and Jesus, and see what happens.

Now, more coffee. I’ve got a Thursday to do. Rise Up Together!

From → NYG 2015

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